How to Get Breastmilk Out of Clothing

How to Get Breastmilk Out of Clothing

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All new mothers ask themselves how to get breastmilk out of clothing.

This is mostly because milk-stained clothing happens more often than we would like to admit. 

We know how common it is to have breast milk dry on your shirt right after your morning feeding, only to have your toddler step all over it as soon as she gets up from her nap, making it even worse. 

Regardless, we are lucky to be united in this quest for how to get breastmilk out of clothing.

Breast milk is great at keeping babies nourished. Still, it can also be pretty inconvenient for the clothes since it can discolor them; it is sticky and difficult to wash out. 

But the good news is that there will always be some tricks to get it out.

But before we learn about these tricks, let’s first understand what makes breastmilk stains hard to remove and how you can deal with them conveniently.

Methods on How to Get Breastmilk Out of Clothing

Cleaning up breastmilk stains can be a pain in the butt.

The fatty nature of breastmilk makes it difficult to remove from fabrics like clothing and blankets and hard surfaces like counters and floors.

So how do you clean up breast milk without throwing out stained items?

1. Rinse With Cold Water

Breast Milk is protein-based, so it needs to be treated differently than other types of stains.

Some stain removal tips recommend warm or hot water for removing stains, but that won’t work with breastmilk. 

Warm water will actually set the stain because warm/hot water will coagulate the milk.

It’s much more difficult to get rid of a stain when the milk has scabbed over. You’ll have to use cold water instead.

To remove breastmilk stains from a shirt, the first thing to do is to rinse the area with cold water.

This helps dilute the stain and buy time for other treatments. 

The same can be said for any type of milk stain. If you’re dealing with a dried-on stain, run it under cold water before attempting to treat it.

2. Soak in Warm Water and Dishwashing Liquid

Fill a sink or bucket with enough warm water to submerge the stained fabric.

Add 1 tablespoon of liquid dish detergent and mix well. Submerge the stained fabric in soapy water and let it soak for at least 30 minutes.

If the stain is very old, you may need to leave it to soak overnight.

If you have time, soak the stain during the day, but let it dry before nightfall. Otherwise, you run the risk of mold growing on your fabric if it stays damp for a long period of time.

Read a related post: How Many Milkmaker Cookies Should I Eat

3. Wash on Normal Cycle With Detergent 

The final step to removing stains from your clothing is to wash it on the normal cycle.

Once you’ve taken care of the stain and placed the clothing in the washer, use your regular detergent and wash it as you would any other piece of clothing.

Make sure that you’re washing your breast milk-stained clothing with other items that are appropriate for that particular load. 

For example, if you’re washing a white shirt, don’t throw in a red pair of pants.

This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget about a single item of clothing when there is a laundry basket full of clothes on the floor.

4. Try Baking Soda, Vinegar 

If the above method doesn’t work, you can also try this one. 

Rinse the garment in cool water to remove any residual liquid dishwashing detergent.

Place the breast milk-stained garment in a bowl, and pour 1/2 cup of vinegar over it. Let it soak for one hour.

Remove the garment from the bowl, and discard the vinegar—mix 1 cup of baking soda with a gallon of warm water in a large bucket or basin. Add the garment to the mixture and let it soak for one hour.

Remove the garment from the basin, and place it into a washing machine. Run it gently using cool water and your regular laundry detergent.

Once you’ve washed the breastmilk stain out of the garment, dry it in the sun.

In addition to brightening colors, hanging your garment outside will help kill any remaining bacteria that might be lingering in the fabric.


Hopefully, the above tips will guide you on how to get breastmilk out of clothing.

It might take a few tries to get breastmilk out of your clothing, but eventually, you should be able to remove the stain.

As indicated above, the most crucial part is rinsing it off with cold water.

Timing is everything when it comes to removing this kind of stain.

Blot the area as quickly as possible, and don’t let the breastmilk sit on the fabric for long periods.

If a breastmilk stain is left to sit for too long, it will become more difficult to remove.

While these tricks can be time-consuming, they are guaranteed to get the stain out if you are patient enough.

Frequently Asked Questions

What color does breast milk stain?

The color of breast milk may vary from yellow-white to whitish. Also, it depends on what a mom is eating and her specific diet.

Suppose a mom is taking iron pills for anemia, for instance. In that case, the breast milk will be darker since the baby will need it to prevent anemia. 

How do you get old milk stains out of baby clothes?

  1. Rinse the stained area under cold water.
  2. Rub a small amount of laundry detergent into the stain, then rinse again. If this doesn’t work, try rubbing in a small amount of dishwashing liquid instead.
  3. Wash in warm water (30C) using biological powder or liquid detergent.
  4. Check the garment after washing and drying as usual if there is no sign of remaining stains. If you can still see any traces of milk, repeat steps 2 and 3 before drying the garment normally. Repeat the process again until all of the stains are gone from your child’s clothes.

Do breastmilk stains come out?

The answer is yes; breast milk stains do come out.

Breast milk stains can be treated with regular washing methods using warm water and detergent or with a stain remover before laundering.

Breast milk stains should be treated as soon as possible after they occur.

If they are not cleaned up right away, the stain may set in and become more difficult to remove.

Fortunately, it is easy to remove most breast milk stains from clothes.

Final Words

The best way to get breastmilk stains out of baby clothes is to rinse them with cold water immediately after the stain occurs.

Then, soak the clothes in baking soda and water mixture before washing them normally.


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Iesha Mulla

Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She's an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.

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